Format: ARC, NetGalley
Links: Amazon UK | Goodreads
Publication date: 28th June 2018
Blurb: Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.
When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.
And then she makes a decision she can never take back.
Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?
But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect… and not everything is as it seems.
Review: You all know I love a good Psychological Thriller; it’s one of my favourite genres so when I saw Her Name Was Rose available on NetGalley I instantly clicked the “request” button. However I didn’t go into this book with many expectations. Not because I didn’t think it would be good, just because I hadn’t really heard anything else about it at that point, nor had I seen any other reviews. But going into books without any expectations is really beneficial sometimes. Her Name Was Rose is a story about a woman called Emily who witnesses an awful car accident where a woman (called Rose, imagine that) gets killed. However, due to Emily’s past with a physically and mentally abusive ex-boyfriend, she’s convinced that the car that hit Rose was actually meant for her.
Emily is riddled with guilt over the accident but starts to become a little obsessed about Rose – who she finds on Facebook – and sees the outpouring of love and affection that her friends, family and husband Cian, are posting on her Facebook wall. Rose, the perfect Mum, with the perfect house and the perfect friends, perfect wife to the perfect best-selling author, Cian. Rose’s life was perfect, wasn’t it? Emily then decides to apply for the job at the dentist surgery where Rose worked. Soon, she meets Rose’s husband, Cian and their son, Jack and manages to worm her way into their life and just when she thinks she could possibly, maybe, take over from where Rose left off, things turn gradually more sinister and Rose’s “accident” may not be an “accident” after all.
This was one of those books that I couldn’t put down. Every spare minute I got, I grabbed my Kindle to get another couple of pages in. I don’t read very fast but this had me completely hooked from the first page. It’s very much a journey of not knowing who to trust. I had absolutely no idea who I thought was trust-worthy throughout the entire book as we get so many mixed messages from so many characters. I absolutely love that in a book; I love feeling as confused as the main character and you certainly will in this book! Speaking of the main character, Emily was undoubtedly a bit mentally confused and mixed up. I don’t know how to say that sensitively but you get information about Emily’s past which makes you question her judgement calls quite extensively.
Although Rose wasn’t really a character in the book (although you do get a few “past” chapters from Rose’s point of view, diary entries and Facebook statuses which is nice) I really loved what the author did with her. Although she dies on literally the first page or so, the entire book is her. She’s the make or break of more or less every other character in the book, who’s still alive. Everyone’s life changes in the most dramatic fashion because of Rose.
This book explores a lot of very important themes; such a mental abuse, possessiveness, relationships and past trauma but above all else, I love the focus on the topic of how not everything is what it seems on the outside. How Facebook isn’t an accurate means of getting to know someone’s life. How we portray our lives online doesn’t always match up to how it really is. Because at the end of the day, we all just want to be seen as having a perfect life, don’t we? This is a topic I think a lot about anyway; being a blogger and being constantly bombarded with perfect photos of perfect couples and perfect days out and perfect lunches. I often find myself comparing and ultimately, getting a little bit frustrated and upset with how my life doesn’t seem as “perfect” as theirs.
This book definitely makes you feel a bit uncomfortable at times. It’s confusing but completely captivating. The whole story; the characters, the lies, the secrets, the whole “behind closed doors” element to it just makes you want to keep reading to find out what is actually behind those doors. An absolutely stonking Thriller from Claire Allan – I think this is going to be a hugely popular book when it’s released this Summer!